Diaw had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and helped limit
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki to three points in the fourth quarter as the
Suns extended their winning streak to a season-high 10 games with a
115-107 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday.
"Right now the best part of my game is my defense," said the
6-foot-8 Diaw, who had his hands full guarding the 7-0 Nowitzki.
"I'm always guarding players who are bigger and stronger so I try
to use my quickness."
Nowitzki had 25 points and nine rebounds, but went 1-for-5 from
the field in the final quarter.
"They adjusted and double-teamed me," Nowitzki said. "I've
got to do a better job finding the open man. More than anything, we
know now we need a little more consistency for longer stretches."
Marquis Daniels added 22 points and Jason Terry had 21 points
for the Mavericks, who have lost two of three after winning 19 of
20. The two recent losses have come against Western Conference
powers San Antonio and Phoenix.
"We can't panic," Daniels said. "We still feel confident of
where we are. All good things must come to an end. We've got to
start a new (home winning streak)."
Five consecutive points from Diaw put the Suns ahead for good at
102-100 with 4:07 left. Barbosa's layup with 2:57 left and Nash's
3-pointer with 2:25 remaining extended the lead to 107-100.
Dallas got within 109-107 on Terry's 3-pointer with 1:01 left.
However, Marion converted a layup, Raja Bell and Nash hit two
free throws each and the Suns finished the game with a 27-12 spurt
over the final 8:31.
"Our energy was great in the fourth quarter," Nash said. "The
second unit ... came in and gave us a big lift. We had greater
activity, primarily defensively. We made a lot of plays and played
a lot stickier, scrapped a little more."
"Guys get hurt and other guys have got to pull their weight and
pick up the slack," Dallas' Adrian Griffin said. "We don't make
excuses. Obviously we are better when everyone is healthy."
Dallas closed the first half with a 13-4 run for a 62-51 lead at
The Mavericks held a 42-20 edge in points in the paint in the
first half, but the Suns had a 28-26 inside scoring advantage in
the second half. Dallas finished with a season-high 68 points in
Diaw's other triple-double came on Jan. 31 against
Philadelphia. Diaw finished one assist shy of another triple-double
in his previous game against Orlando. ... Mavericks owner Mark
Cuban watched the first quarter in a tuxedo rather than in his
customary jeans and T-shirt before leaving via private jet for the
Academy Awards in Hollywood. A movie produced by Cuban, "Good
Night and Good Luck," was up for six nominations. ... Nowitzki has
12,605 career points, moving past Derek Harper for third most in